British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia pulchellata Stephens

Pulchellaria Doubleday.

Foxglove Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 21–24 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight to arched; apically blunt.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; pale brownish-ochreous, with conspicuous grey curved striae; the dusky basal patch blackish at the costa cf. E. linariata, usually more complete than in that species; a reddish-ochreous-brown transverse fascia before the median band, and a similar but less regular one beyond it; the wavily black-and-white edged median band itself greyish inclining to blackish near the costa, usually clouded with ochreous below the middle, and posteriorly obtusely angulated; the subterminal line inconspicuous or more whitish, with partially black-marked edges; the fringe rather inconspicuously chequered. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark dot-like; not whitish-edged; black and distinct. Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered to somewhat chequered.

Hindwings whitish grey, conspicuously darkly banded and striated, sometimes tending subterminally ochreous; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; very conspicuously patterned; transversely striated; with a clear discal mark; the fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with a brown or ferrugineous sub-basal band (this black-marked).

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of two separate sclerotized components. The bursa copulatrix entirely smooth or only very finely scobinate (being only in part very finely scobinate).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Scrophulariaceae. The larvae found on foxglove; feeding on flowers.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May and June; larvae found July and August. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

Special key characters. Forewings without a conspicuous broad median fascia from costa to dorsum; with a dark grey band and two reddish-ochreous fasciae. Hindwings whitish, or pale grey, or grey.

General comments. A common species, differing from E. linariata in the forewing striae more waved and more less distinct, the basal patch less reduced, the median band usually interrupted with ochreous and its posterior edge more obviously angulated, and the hindwing patterning more distinct..

Illustrations. • E. pulchelata (Foxglove Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. linariata and E. pulchellata, with varieties and larvae: Barrett. • E. pulchelata (Foxglove Pug), with other Pugs: South. • E. pulchellata (Foxglove Pug), with other Pugs: Swain.


To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. British insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae). Version: 29th December 2011. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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